Toucan

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Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus)

The Toucan hails from the Neotropics and is known for its large and very colorful bill. The Toucan is a common figure in popular culture; it graces cartoons and cereal boxes. The Toucan is distantly related to the woodpecker, and generally makes its home in trees that have been bored out by their woodpecker cousins.


Content List

1. Scientific & Common Names

2. Characteristics

a. Breeding

b. Behavior

3. History

4. Present Status

5. References


Scientific & Common Names

Kingdom - Animalia

Class - Aves

Order - Piciformes

Family - Ramphastidae (5 genera, 40+ species)

Common Name - Toucan. The most well-known species are the toco toucan (Ramphastos toco) and the keel-billed toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus).


Characteristics

The Toucan is a large bird with a large and colorful bill. The Toucan's diet is primarily comprised of fruit. However, it will prey on small animals and insects when it gets the urge. The Toucan generally ranges from 4.6 ounces to 1.5 pounds, and 12 inches to 29 inches tall. The Toucan has a short, stout body as well as short wings.


Breeding

There are approximately 40 types of Toucans. The Toucan normally hatches four to six eggs per year, and both Toucan parents care for the eggs and the young Toucans. Young Toucans are typically born with a small bill that grows as they age.


Behavior

The Toucan is not a migratory bird; this bird likes to stay close to one chosen home. The Toucan lives in holes burrowed in trees. Many times the Toucan will take over a nest built by a woodpecker or other bird. Toucans typically live in pairs or small flocks. Toucans like to play and joust with their bills. This behavior can be used to establish flock hierarchy, or just to pass the time.


History

The Toucan hails from Central America, the northern part of South America, southern Mexico, and the Caribbean, and has a fairly long life span. Typically, this bird can live from 20 to 40 years when in the wild. More people are becoming fans of these birds and choose them for pets.


Present Status

Toucans are becoming increasingly popular as pets with those who enjoy birds. Several efforts are ongoing in an attempt to preserve all types of Toucans. Trade is being heavily regulated and imports of these birds to other countries are being monitored.


References

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/toucan/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toucan

http://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/toucan

http://www.srl.caltech.edu/personnel/krubal/rainforest/Edit560s6/www/animals/toucanpage.html